Outstanding Supporting Actor for a Comedy
If you could give your Emmy Award to any charity, which would it be and why?
I’d give it to Stand Up to Cancer, which is a charity I work for to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Cancer has touched my life, and it’s an important charity to me.
Besides yourself, who are you most excited to see honored at the Emmys tonight?
All of the cast of “Modern Family.” They are my family, and we are each other’s family. We do truly love each other. We know this isn’t going to last forever, and we’ll be the old show in a couple of years or even next year. Who knows? We just want to enjoy it while we’re here together.
And I was pulling for Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] or Ed [O’Neill]. I know Julie [Bowen] was pulling for Sofia [Vergara]. It’s nice to win, but we want to spread it around too.
Is it a challenge to constantly get better on “Modern Family”? How much do you talk about it?
Well, the writers and Chris [Lloyd] and Steve [Levitan], our producers, challenge themselves constantly. We take nothing for granted. And I think that would be one thing that an audience member from Ohio or Iowa who came to set would see is that we’re very serious about the business of comedy, and we’re constantly trying to make the scene the best possible scene it can be and get the biggest impact. So we are working.
You don’t become an actor because you want to rest on your laurels. It’s not that sort of a business. And it doesn’t stop when you get on a hit TV show. You want to get in there and keep doing it because some people who could be in this room are ready to take us down a notch when that time comes. We don’t want that. We want to fight and fight and fight and keep [being] as good as we can.
What are you doing to celebrate your Emmy win this year?
I’m just going to go out. I brought my best friend Paul tonight and my good friend Shane. Paul dared me to audition for my first play ever when I was in college at Kansas State. I got the part in the play, and that’s what set me off on my journey to be an actor. I’m with him tonight and sharing this night.
And my family’s in town. We’ll go to some parties, drink some libations. I don’t have work tomorrow. I’m excited about that. I’m just going to enjoy this. It means a lot.
You’re the only male star of “Modern Family” who’s won an Emmy Award so far. What’s the atmosphere going to be like on the set?
[He says jokingly] It’s going to be pretty violent, I’m sure. I’m sure Ed [O’Neil] is going to do his Brazilian jiu-jitsu on me and steal [my Emmy]. And Jesse [Tyler Ferguson] is probably going to cock his hip or something.
[He says seriously] No, like I said, we love each other. Maybe that won’t always be the case, but I can tell you it’s the case right now. We’re all pulling for each other, and there’s no competition at all between any of us.
Did you place any bets on who would win?
We should’ve started that. You don’t predict that you’re going to get on a show that’s nominated for things. Maybe we should’ve come up with that in the first year: “Hey, if any of us win, it’s a year of something from the other.” So maybe this will be the first year. I’ll just come up with something: a year’s supply of massages. I’ll just give back massages to everybody.
Did you ever have a rock-bottom experience when you thought about quitting acting?
As an actor, that happens monthly. It can happen weekly, and that’s why I wanted to share that moment with actors, because I know exactly how that feels. It’s emotional thinking about it. We don’t dig ditches. It’s not like we’re out there breaking our backs working like so many people in our country do, but it’s a stressful business because you don’t know where your money is coming from sometimes.
I’m just proof that if you stick with it and try real hard and show up and be prepared, that you can stand on a stage and win a trophy. It’s just that simple. And if there’s somebody out there that’s thinking about quitting and not continuing, if I can be a little bit of an inspiration, for them, I’m happy to take that role.
/* Style Definitions */
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
font-family:"Times New Roman";
For more info: Emmy Awards website
RELATED LINKS ON EXAMINER.COM:
Emmy Award interviews